How to Grow Fresh Herbs in Your Kitchen

The rewards come fast and flavorful from this easy, satisfying project.

Posted in , Apr 21, 2020

Kitchen herb garden

Many of us are spending more time than usual in our kitchens, and as we get deeper into spring, our thoughts naturally turn to fresh things, and things we can grow ourselves.

Even if you are not an avid gardener, it is an easy, fun and satisfying project to set up a small kitchen herb garden. The rewards come fast and flavorful, straight from the windowsill onto your dinner plate.

You need just a few things to bring your fresh, fragrant herb garden dreams to life:

You can use bona fide garden pots of any size, that usually come with a hole in the bottom and a small tray to catch draining water. Or, you can use anything that can hold onto some dirt and let some roots push and grow. If you use a wooden box, a bowl or a coffee can for example, try to find some small pebbles or pieces of broken ceramic to put in the bottom, to keep water from pooling in the soil. Or you can poke a hole in the bottom of the container and place it on a saucer or small tray to catch run-off water.

Unfortunately, a scoop of dirt from outside won’t work for most indoor gardens. You can order or pick up a bag of indoor potting soil from a garden center or hardware store—you’ll have enough for years of indoor growing!

Seeds or Seedlings
Some herbs—including basil, parsley and dill—are easy to start from seeds you can buy in most grocery stores, garden centers or from seed catalogs. Follow the directions on the seed packet for best results. Others—like oregano, thyme, sage or rosemary—can be started from a clipping if you have an outdoor plant. But if you are concerned about the green-ness of your thumb, the easiest way is to purchase an already-growing seedling, a small plant that can give you some leaves that very evening, before taking root and growing anew for myriad meals to come.

Herbs are thirsty creatures—but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to watering them. Water them so that the soil is moist but not sodden, and be sure tender low leaves aren’t sitting in wet soil.

Most herbs love at least six hours of sun per day, so a sunny window is a way to make both your plants and yourself happy. Because who doesn’t love to walk into a room and catch a glimpse of a vibrant flash of green caught in a beam of morning light? 

Do you grow herbs in your kitchen? What are your favorite ways to use them?

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